Teachers Find New Tools to Educate Students Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
By Neil A. Carousso
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – As schools shift to remote learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, teachers are finding useful tools that they may incorporate next school year.
“I think that’s going to be a benefit of this crisis long-term are those teachers that are realizing that these tools can be assets to them, they’re not going to replace them and that their role is still as that guide in the classroom whether it’s face-to-face or remote,” said Alex Urrea, managing partner of Eduscape, which trains K-12 schools on how to integrate Learning Management Systems (LMS) into the classroom.
The company has trained over 750,000 educators on its partner platforms owned by Google and Microsoft.
Urrea says the technology has been available, but some educators have resisted using free platforms like Google for Education and Microsoft Teams.
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“Right now, if nothing else, the rapid migration to remote teaching and the challenges they’re in, are proving that teachers enhance technology and not the other way around,” Urrea said, adding, “You need good teachers supported by good technology, and right now, I think the technology isn’t failing them, but what’s causing struggles is not enough professional development, historically, on how to get them to use this better during these times.”
He anticipates schools will see the value of making these tools part of the curriculum next year. In many cases, LMS have been available to teachers, but it has been “underutilized,” according to Urrea.
“IT directors and schools must enable those features to work for teachers to be able to use them, especially in this environment,” he said. “Not enough training has taken place in these tools.”
Schools in the Tri-State Area have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.